Why Aren’t My Books Selling?
Guest post by Irene Watson
This past week I’ve been inundated with two things:
1. Publicists wanting us to donate our time and efforts to supply their authors, whom they charge for their own time and efforts with no guarantees, to give book reviews and interviews…for free.
2. Authors complaining that their book isn’t selling.
I’m going to leave number one alone for now because I’ve already ranted about their expectations and it only being a one way street. However, I do have to qualify in saying that there are some publicists that actually do recognize that we have to pay staff, no different than themselves, and do offer compensation.
I’m going to address the second one. Why isn’t the book selling? I’ve already talked about credibility and relevancy so today I’m going to talk about authors not having a platform, or even knowing what that word means.
For example, I responded to an author with:
Okay…let’s do some brain storming here. What is your platform?
And the response came as:
So, I sent him this link on Writer’s Digest explaining what a platform is. (If you don’t know what it is, this is one of the best articles I’ve seen.)
That’s been a week ago and I haven’t heard back. The author is either creating a platform or actually doesn’t have any experience or expertise to back his book.
And then I had another author, which wrote a book on how to start a new business, say:
should i really have a need to use my whole name?
This was a response to me telling him he can’t author a business book with just using his initials and not exposing his real identity, yet, expect credibility. He also said:
i do not have a web-site.
Okay…let me take a deep breath here before I go on. Yes, this is someone that wrote a business book giving steps on starting a business. Huh? Scary thought, isn’t it? Is a good book? Heck no! I reviewed it and it’s the worst business book I’ve ever read. The author comes across as being extremely demanding, arrogant and over-bearing, regurgitating a few things in a 62-page book that others have said. He also says things like “…and if you cannot see what I am trying to get across to you, you really are stupid, AND YOU ARE DESTINED TO FAIL.” Wow…
Does this author have a platform? He sure doesn’t…and as I said before, he doesn’t even have a website. However, in response to my comment in the review questioning credibility he responded with:
i have owned 3 [removed for anonymity] shops
also co-founder of “citizens for [removed for anonymity]”
and a couple things i am not proud of.
So, why aren’t these author’s books not selling? I’m hoping you, as the reader of this editorial, do not have similar stories. What is your platform? If you have one, maybe it’s time to revisit it to be sure there is credibility to back your book.
I invite you to make comments.
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.